Wal-Mart says its sale timed against Amazon's 'Prime Day' paid off

Associated Press

Wal-Mart's counter-offensive against Amazon's big sale called Prime Day seemed to pay off.

The world's largest retailer, which discounted about 2,000 items on Wednesday, said that the last three days have been been some of its best ever for online orders, though did not give specifics.

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The discounter, based in Bentonville, Ark., also said that shoppers were finding ways to speed up the delivery of items. It noted that Wednesday was the highest day of the year for same-day pickup at its stores, with orders increasing triple digits over the same day last year.

That service allows shoppers to order online and then pick their purchases up at the store the same day. Among the top-selling items Wednesday were a Apple iPad Air 2 for $399.99 and $12.35 for Anna and Kristoff dolls from Disney's "Frozen."

Last week, Amazon announced a sale it called Prime Day that it promised would have more deals than the Black Friday shopping bonanza. The sale, which commemorates Amazon's 20th anniversary, was aimed at Prime members, who pay $99 annual fee for free shipping. But some shoppers expressed disappointment in the sale because they thought the discounts weren't deep enough or the items were less than desirable.

But it still drove traffic and sales for the online retailer. Amazon.com said that by 1 p.m. Wednesday, the speed with which customers were ordering had already surpassed 2014 Black Friday. ChannelAdvisor, which tracks sales of third-party sellers on Amazon, said sales jumped 80 percent compared with the same day a year ago in the U.S. and 40 percent in Europe.